Splits in the skin at the back and sides of the heel are unattractive and can be painful. These are fairly common, especially in those who are predisposed to them. These kinds of cracks in the skin around the heel happen when the skin is thicker and dry. As the fat under the heel expands out sideways when walking puts strain on the skin that it may not take, so the skin just tears or cracks. The wearing of open back shoes also plays a role in the problem. Various medical problems may also contribute to the dryness of the skin and a numerous biomechanical problems contribute to the thickening of the skin.
Once a split happens, it does need to be taken care of as it can act as a portal to have an infection to get in. Firstly, an antiseptic should be used to prevent that if the split is open. It is next important to remove the thick callus around the peripheray of the heel. This can be undertaken by a skilled podiatrist if you have access to podiatry. If not, then you need to use something such as a foot file, pumice stone or emery board and get to work on reducing the thick skin. This may take a great deal of work. As soon as that callused skin is removed, then it's crucial that you use lotions and emollients to make the skin supple and adaptable so it doesn't have the propensity to crack. Urea based lotions are typically better for that. Once this original problem is taken care of, then preventative measures have to be put in place to continue with or else the condition will in all probability occur again. Occasional use of a foot file or similar is recommended to keep the callused skin down and regular use of a urea based ointment is important to help make the skin resistant to cracking and prevent the dryness. Staying away from open back footwear is also advised as this increases the risk for cracked heels.